Diane Willis

In Spring, 1995, Diane Willis traveled through a black tunnel, saw a white light and her life was changed forever. Since then, she has been guided from “one amazing experience to another,” as she set about accomplishing the mission she was given: to help others lose their fear of death.

In May, 1998, Diane was guided to start the Chicago chapter of IANDS, which continues to grow, and in June, 2004, hosted the North American conference of IANDS. She also spends time working in hospice and consulting with people who have death-related issues. In May, 2008, she and the Chicago IANDS Board initiated the beginnings of a new organization, The International Society for Extraordinary Experiences (iSee), which is for a broader spectrum of experiences. (http://www.iseespirit.org)

Being a Gemini, she has to have two paths going and after a trip to Egypt (on three days notice) in 1995, she was led to start improvising music, a skill she did not have before she went to the other side. She has performed on her Native American flutes with some of the world’s greatest spiritual teachers, including Louise Hay, Marianne Williamson, Caroline Myss, Ron Roth, Sonia Choquette, Paul Winter and others, including Cecil Taylor. She facilitated the Chicago Native Flutes Circle, a monthly meeting which explores many aspects of the Native American flute and flute-playing and her first CD, Improvisations From the Other Side: Healing Music for Meditation and Relaxation, came out in August, 2003.

Improvisation from the Other Side

Link to buy album on iTunes

Healing Music for Meditation and Relaxation

To order a CD

Price: $15.99 plus $2 First Class USA shipping = $17.99


  1. Reflections
  2. Moonlight
  3. Winterbird
  4. Reunion
  5. Starry Night
  6. Eagle Dream
  7. Green River
  8. Manatee
  9. Renaissance
  10. Ode to World Peace

Total Minutes: 60:37

Comments about the CD

“'Improvisations From The Other Side' by Diane Willis and John Fish is quite a surprise. I say this because it is so good, so refreshing, so mystical that it ranks way ‘up there’ with the best of Native American flute pieces and talented artists. Diane, I knew you were good but I didn’t know you were THAT good. This is one of my favorite CDs and I play it often. Highly recommended!”

P. M. H. Atwater, L.H.D., NDE Researcher and Author of “The New Children and Near-Death Experiences,” “Beyond the Light,” “Future Memory,” and others.

“The whole recording is beautifully played—and produced! Your improvisational skills are fantastic….”

Walfrid Kujala, flute and piccolo, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, 1954-2001; Professor of Flute, Northwestern University, 1962-present.

“During our trip to the Yucatan, we enjoyed this CD for its melodic and soothing melodies; we played it continually. It is a must have!!! We think Diane is hot!”

Dannion and Kathryn Brinkley, Near-Death Experiencer; Hospice Volunteer; Author of Saved by the Light and Secrets of the Light

“Wow—it’s beautiful: Congratulations and thanks….”

Paula Robison, Concert and Recording Artist, also renowned for her master classes, original transcriptions and books on the art of flute playing.

“I am just playing your CD and I love it! I picked it up at my office a couple of days ago and I have played it non stop! You and John have done a super job - it is just beautiful….it has been so healing and calming for me. Bless you. Best to you and John - what a great duo.”

Caroline Sutherland, Medical Intuitive and Author of “The Body Knows.” Vancouver, BC, Canada

“I’ve listened to your CD three times…(It’s) incredible…. I’ve listened with emotion, recalling your story of how you’ve grown into being able to create these beautiful sounds through the experiences you’ve had during the past 8 years….an inspirational story.”

Bernard J. Dobroski, PhD, John Evans Professor of Music and Former Dean, School of Music, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL.

“Your flute music is absolutely Divine, as is the piano. I am listening to it constantly. Super thanks. Truly amazing. The fifth track with the bells is like the Zen master hitting one with a stick…”

Arthur Buehler, PhD, Professor of Religion, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA.

“Thank you, Diane, for this lovely, lovely music.”

Molly Scott, Singer, Songwriter, and Music Therapist, Charlemont, MA

“I just wanted to tell you that the whole board loved your ‘Improvisations from the Other Side.’ We used it as background music throughout the whole board meeting, so it was almost as if you were there at our side. Jason is eager to get a copy and I would like three copies myself.”

Dr. Pamela Kircher, MD, Hospice Doctor and Author of “Love is the Link.” Durango, Colorado

“I’m really happy I attended the Chicago Flute Circle yesterday, and even HAPPIER I purchased your CD. It has replaced my other favorite (Native American) Flute CD. What an inspirational work of art in improvisation. We are truly Blessed in having you as our guiding spirit in this path of our journey.”

Mike Moran, Hoffman Estates, IL

“FIVE STARS! It’s wonderful, very relaxing. All songs are great. I listen them while working in the office.”

Julie (Reviewer from CD Baby web site)

About Diane Willis

In Spring, 1995, Diane Willis had an experience which she later learned was within the parameters of what is called a Near-Death Experience. She went through a black tunnel and saw a white light which she immediately identified as being the source of all, or what we most often call God.She communicated telepathically and experienced love beyond anything that she had ever known. The love was so strong she could hold it, physically, in her hands and squeeze it. She was told “Love is the only thing that matters—how much you give, and how much you receive. Nothing else makes any real difference.” It was clear to her that we do not die and she came back with a passion to help others lose their fear of death.

Before this experience, Diane had not been on a spiritual path. She believed in God, but felt He was far away. This experience taught her that God was truly everywhere. She started meditating and was in close connection with her guides and God on the other side. Miraculous, synchronous things began to happen. She started doing hospice work, because that seemed to be the place where one could be the closest to the other side. And she was guided to start the Chicago chapter of theInternational Association for Near-Death Studies in May, 1998.

Six months after her experience on the other side, in November, 1995, she was told by her guides to go to Egypt on three day’s notice—“and take your flute,” although she didn’t know why. When she got on the plane, she was seated next to a member of Marianne Williamson’s entourage. She had never heard of Marianne Williamson, who is a well-known spiritual teacher, author,and minister. When she got to Egypt, her roommate was Marianne’s personal assistant. And while she was there, she and Marianne conducted a service in the King’s Chamber of the Great Pyramid. Before going to the other side, Diane played a traditional flute, but had never been able to improvise two notes in a row. But that night, for the first time in her life she improvised music in the dark, resonant room, deep inside the Great Pyramid, while Marianne blessed the people.

Diane knew, however, that something was missing in her performance, and in February, 1996, she had the opportunity to improvise, for the second time in her life, with Paul Winter on his soprano sax, who was very supportive and encouraging. However, this time she had the benefit of some lessons from “Sonic Meditations” with Pauline Oliveros to fill in the gap in her knowledge. These things happened completely synchronistically, in very guided ways.

In October, 1996, a Native American flute maker from Colorado called her and told her that he was supposed to make her some flutes. Because she had not contacted him, she felt that she was to accept the flutes, although she wasn’t particularly interested because she had one which wasn’t very good. These new flutes, however, were more vibrant and responsive. It wasn’t long before she had the opportunity to try them out with Louise Hay, Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati, Ron Roth, Sonia Choquette, Caroline Myss, Caroline Sutherland, Cecil Taylor and others. She suddenly found herself improvising in front of audiences of hundreds of people. In June, 2000, Diane was guided to meet R.C. Nakai, the award-winning Native American flutist, who listened to her music and told her that she should make CD’s because she was bringing through her experience on the other side and it would be very healing and helpful to people.

John Fish has always been passionate about making music with other musicians and singers. Highlights of his career include being Music Director of the University Theater Summer Repertory at the University of Illinois and accompanying Tony-nominated actor, John Herrera. John and Diane met when their mutual friend, Ginnie Hartzer, invited them to play for her son’s wedding in September, 2000. Discovering a shared interest in improvisation, the two got together one evening in a studio and, with no preparation or plan, simply started playing. Within twenty minutes,+three of the pieces on this CD were recorded: Eagle Dream, Winterbird, and Moonlight. The other pieces were recorded in a few more sessions spaced over the next two years. Diane and John were amazed by how this music evolved and they knew that there was a greater guidance at work here. Obviously, timing was important. Although they had the music ready, the energy surrounding the CD didn’t intensify until Summer of 2003, when everything suddenly fell into place to create this offering.

The Near-Death Experience

The near-death experience (NDE) is among the most powerful experiences that a person can have, one of a family of experiences which may occur with or without being close to death. It may permanently alter a person’s perceptions of what is real and important. It is estimated that over 23,000,000 people in the United States have had this experience.

One most extraordinary aspect of NDEs is that the underlying pattern seems unaffected by a person’s culture or belief system, religion, race, education, or any other known variable, although the way in which the NDE is described varies according to the person’s background and vocabulary. There is no evidence that the type of experience is related to whether the person is conventionally religious or not, or has lived a “good” or “bad” life according to his/her society’s standards (although an NDE often strongly affects how life is lived after the experience).

An experience may include the feeling of being out of the physical body, moving through a darkness or tunnel, encountering the presence of deceased loved ones and/or other entities, and an indescribable light or menacing darkness. Many people say they have glimpsed the pattern and meaning of life and the universe, or have been given information beyond ordinary human capacities. For most people the experience is joyful beyond words, although others tell of unpleasant or terrifying experiences. When adequately understood, every type of NDE reveals issues of deep significance to the life of the individual and to humankind in general.

Research has shown that NDEs in Western civilization occur with similar frequency and content to people of both genders and of all ages, races, levels of education, socioeconomic levels, spiritual/religious affiliations (or non-affiliation), sexual orientations (gay/lesbian, bisexual, or heterosexual), and precipitating circumstances (illness, accident, suicide, medical procedure, etc.). Research in non-Western cultures has not been as extensive but suggests that certain universal or very common themes may be present, such as a boundary between dimensions and one or more supernatural entities or beings.

To find out more about near-death experiences, please visit http://chicagoiands.org/

Contact Diane Willis

If you wish to contact Diane Willis, you may email her at docflute@aol.com.